WEDNESDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Signs of life in Haiti? “As the United Nations dispatched thousands of earthquake survivors to clean the streets in a growing cash-for-work program, this devastated capital showed increasing signs of stirring back to life on Wednesday as Haitians restarted factory assembly lines, visited their barbers, sought replacement cell phones and even picked up their dry cleaning.”
* New counter-terrorism efforts, approved by President Obama directly, in Yemen: “U.S. military teams and intelligence agencies are deeply involved in secret joint operations with Yemeni troops who in the past six weeks have killed scores of people, among them six of 15 top leaders of a regional al-Qaeda affiliate, according to senior administration officials.”
* There was a CNBC report earlier that said Pelosi has 218 votes to pass the Senate health care bill. That report was wrong. Democratic leaders are, however, increasingly vocal about their commitment to getting something done.
* The reform problem is, however, nearly as complicated procedurally as it is politically.
* John Brennan, the White House counterterrorism advisor, isn’t impressed with Joe Lieberman’s Fort Hood concerns.
* Kabul: “The Afghan government is set to unveil an ambitious, far-reaching plan to persuade the Taliban’s foot soldiers to abandon their fight and to offer an opening for the movement’s leaders to return to politics in the country they once ruled.”
* President Obama continues to work with Russia on START talks.
* Two months ago, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) was fine with Khalid Shaikh Mohammed being tried in New York. Now, Bloomberg is no longer pleased. (It seems to have more to do with the mayor’s office looking for some additional federal funds, and less to do with the usual GOP fear-mongering.)
* Former CIA operative John Kiriakou has argued publicly that he has first-hand evidence on the efficacy of torture, and has been widely cited over the years by conservatives. It turns out, Kiriakou didn’t know what he was talking about.
* The DCCC’s new “State of the Union ‘Fact Check Fox‘ Team” seems like a worthwhile endeavor.
* The new iPad looks pretty darn cool.
* The White House says its “budget freeze” won’t hurt higher education.
* There’s no easy way to say this, but Center for Military Readiness’ Elaine Donnelly appears to be stark raving mad.
* When right-wing activist James O’Keefe was trying to destroy ACORN, Fox News thought he was extremely important. Now that O’Keefe is a suspected criminal, Fox News doesn’t want to talk about him anymore.
* On a related note, what did Andrew Breitbart know about O’Keefe’s activities and when did he know it?
* Mugshot: “James O’Keefe, the face of ‘conservative journalism.'”
I’ll be back in a few hours for some State of the Union live-blogging, but for now, consider this an open thread.